1 Corinthians 2:3

3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:3 in Other Translations

KJV
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
ESV
3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,
NLT
3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling.
MSG
3 I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate - I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it -
CSB
3 And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:3 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 2:3

And I was with you in weakness
Meaning either the weakness of his bodily presence, the contemptibleness of his voice, and the mean figure he made as a preacher among them, both with respect to the matter and manner of his ministry in the eyes of many; or his lowly and humble deportment among them, not exerting the power and authority Christ had given him as an apostle; but choosing rather to work with his own hands, as he did at Corinth, to minister to his own necessities, and those of others; or the many persecutions which he endured there for the sake of preaching a crucified Christ; and which he sometimes calls "infirmities"; see ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 2 Corinthians 12:10 ) wherefore it is added,

and in fear, and in much trembling:
not only on account of the greatness and awfulness of the work in which he was engaged, and lest the souls he ministered unto should be drawn aside from the truth, and into a sinful compliance; but because of the violence of men against him, threatening his life, and lying in wait for it: hence, the Lord, to encourage him, spake in a vision to him, and bid him not be afraid, but boldly preach his Gospel, and not be silent; assuring him of his presence, and that no man should set on him to hurt him, for he had many chosen vessels there to call by his grace through his ministry, ( Acts 18:9 Acts 18:10 ) which no doubt greatly served to remove the fears and tremor that attended him.

1 Corinthians 2:3 In-Context

1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Acts 18:1-18
  • 2. 1 Corinthians 4:10; 1 Corinthians 9:22; 2 Corinthians 11:29,30; 2 Corinthians 12:5,9,10; 2 Corinthians 13:9
  • 3. S 2 Corinthians 7:15